Canadian Canoe Routes

Where to next? Looking for more routes in Vancouver.
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Author:  superjens [ July 9th, 2008, 6:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Where to next? Looking for more routes in Vancouver.

I've seen every nook and cranny of Widgeon Creek, been up and down both arms of the Alouette River, the gross Nicomekl, visited the local lakes (Burnaby, Buntzen, Sasamat). Been up and down False Creek a bunch, but now what they're advising against even touching the water there I'll be avoiding it. Also familiar with Belcarra / Indian Arm.

Where to next? I could hit the big ones, Stave and Harrison, Chilliwack, Cultus, but before I do I'm wondering if there are any other clean, pretty, fun small water paddle spots left around here that I've missed? I paddle solo in a Clipper Solitude, and can easily do 20-25 k in the short 6 hours that I give myself each Saturday morning.

Any trips need to bring me back to square one, unless there's somebody here who also wants to solo down the Harrison River this weekend? :D We can shuttle ourselves.

Author:  yarnellboat [ July 9th, 2008, 8:11 pm ]
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I'm more of a ww river guy now - that's where I went after the limited exploring around Vancouver! I had to adapt my paddling interests to what's being offered by the local geography, and now it takes me 4 hrs to go 5km. I'm going to the Similkameen R this weekend.

But, I can recommend Harrison and Stave, I like to go up the logging roads a bit, and then put in, avoiding the launches that 99% use.

For example, the north end of Stave by going up the road on the east side, not sure of the state of that road though; and the east side of Harrison Lake north of the access at Big Silver Creek, lots of really nice beach (at least at lower water), well worth a cruise, or even some camping! I've heard leaving from a forest rec site on the west side of Harrison can give you a good paddle around some island(s) too.

Other latwater paddlers might know more, but those bits of Harrison and Stave are worth a try. Depending on your comfort with the ocean (and with ferry line ups), you could start dabbling on the Sunshine Coast too. Or even the shores of Howe Sound from Porteu Cove or Sunset Marina or somewhere, if the weather's nice, it's worth a try to see what you think. In fact, picking up a guidebook on sea kayaking might provide you with some route ideas for your canoe.

Unfortunately, despite the popularity of Bowron Lakes, the park agencies here completely overlook providing more opportunities for canoe camping around the lower mainland.


Author:  canuckjgc [ July 11th, 2008, 5:51 pm ]
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What about Alouette Lake? Start from the Gold Creek area and once you are through the little narrows, it feels like a smaller lake and not many others around usually.

Ladner / Delta marsh is another option. Further out would be the Sunshine Coast and Smuggler's Cove or Garden Bay.

Author:  superjens [ July 11th, 2008, 6:00 pm ]
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I've decided to try out Jones Lake (Chilliwack) tomorrow morning, hopefully the wind calms down a bit. Yesterday would have been a freak show if you were stuck in a canoe around here.

Any access restrictions to Alouette lake in the early morning? I believe Buntzen is gated until 8 AM, which is late for me these days!

yarnellboat, I'm getting the itch to do some more moving water paddling too. The wife is already getting the sales pitch from me for a solo river boat.

Author:  canuckjgc [ July 11th, 2008, 8:15 pm ]
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I don't believe they lock the gates in the summer at Alouette so you should be able to start as early as you like.

Author:  Canoeheadted [ July 11th, 2008, 9:41 pm ]
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Hey Superjens, how about Chehalis, Hatzic, or way up to Nehatlatch Lk?

Other waterways could be the Salmon R, Serpentine R, or Sumas canal (depending on time of year) near Barrowtown.

I've never paddled the Salmon, Serpentine, or Hatzic Lk., just read about them.

Take lots of pictures up at Jones (Waleach), we all love pics!

Not too sure now, but they locked the gate at 11:00 PM a few years ago. Give the park a call.

Author:  Just John [ July 13th, 2008, 3:46 pm ]
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Author:  superjens [ July 14th, 2008, 10:57 pm ]
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I made the long drive up to Jones Lake (2 hours from Vancouver), and it was well worth it. The weather was perfect, and from around 7:30 AM until 11:30 AM there was barely a breeze. A few small motorboats puttered around with beer drinkers and fishing rods, and later on one big fat powerboat roared up and down the lake making a huge mess of everything. It sounded like thunder from one end of the lake to the other. What's the point? I don't get why these yahoos and their noisy boats don't stick to the noisy boat lakes like Harrison and Stave. Anyways...

The scenery up there is pretty spectacular, and is exactly what I pictured myself paddling in when I moved out here ten years ago from Montreal. Paddling in these kinds of settings just takes my breath away and always wipes my mind clear in a hurry.

Following the shore, MapSource tells me I did a lazy 14.9 km in about 5 hours. But two of those hours were, like always on my way back, against a strong wind with whitecaps.

I have more pics and maps here if you care to see them:

My favourites (hopefully these aren't too big?)




Author:  acadia [ July 15th, 2008, 12:58 am ]
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Nice pix! I used to backpack in that range when I was in my late teens, but I've never seen them from the perspective of the lake. What's the access road like? I heard it was pretty rough, but that was years ago.

Author:  Canoeheadted [ July 15th, 2008, 1:11 am ]
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Jens, again awsome pics.

Neat to see your other trips. Nice boat too, I paddle a glass Solitude myself.

Keep 'em comin'.

Author:  yarnellboat [ July 15th, 2008, 2:02 am ]
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Thanks for the photos. Isn't it a cryin' shame that there aren't just a few spots like that near the lower mainland where motorized things aren't allowed to be!

How busy was it going to get? I don't know the lake, is it worth an overnight, or would you not be able to camp out of hootin' & hollerin' distance from trucks?

Keep on exploring & keep us posted.


Author:  Just John [ July 15th, 2008, 3:42 am ]
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Author:  m and m [ July 15th, 2008, 10:44 am ]
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We go to Jones Lake once or twice a year. It is gorgeous. If you can ignore the beer swilling zoo at the North end, the road is decommisioned half way down the lake and the bridge is gone. That keeps the ATV crowd away from the gorgeous South end. We have considered camping overnight, but consider it risky. There are nice beaches, but there are also motor boats and lots of young people tryng to figure out there sexuality with the help of booze and boomboxes.

Three weeks ago we were there for a long lazy day. We made our way to the South end where there is a large flat grassy area before the giant peaks rise up. We had a long nap. When we got up to make a cup of tea, we found two somewhat fresh piles of grizzly bear scat ten paces from our nap site. Love the wildness up there!

We just returned from 7 glorious days on Ross Lake. That place is spectacular and not crowded. 40 km long lake, Island camping. 60 km of well maintained gravel road leaving the No. 1 highway at Silver Creek, just before Hope.

Nahatlatch Lake is another favourite. Very wild, cold water, cliffs.

One day soon I will get it together to upload some photos.



Author:  Monster [ July 15th, 2008, 4:41 pm ]
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Gorgeous shots there SuperJens...! As for another route close to town, have you considered the Salmon River, Squamish River and or my favourite... the Ladner marshes?

Author:  superjens [ July 15th, 2008, 11:21 pm ]
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Thanks for all the great ideas, looks like the rest of my summer will be full of exploring new waters after all! And I never even noticed Ross Lake, but it definitely looks like I'll need to arrange an overnighter.

I'll be off to Alouette this weekend!

yarnellboat: By mid day that hot Saturday, nearly every inch of land before the dismantled bridge was occupied, but I did see at least a few unused spots by the far south end on the east side. Aside from a few puttering motor fishing boats, it was quiet at that end.

acadia: The access road was steep and tough, but I made my way up without incident in my little front wheel drive Yaris. Still wish I had my big lifted Xterra for roads like that though!

Monster: Ladner marshes eh? Got a good launching spot I should know about? Can you do the Salmon and Squamish rivers without a shuttle?

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